Why Total Airport Management is (finally) the next big thing.

By Jean Luc Devisscher
3rd September 2023

Total Airport Management is not new, it has been around as a definition for some time now but over the years its meaning has changed considerably, and more than one organization has claimed it as their own. EMMA Systems has embraced Total Airport Management (TAM) for a long where TAM is part of our total offer with our Airport Collaborative Decision-Making approach (A-CDM or CDM) CDM) has 16 milestones as the basis.

The A-CDM process plays a key role in TAM. Where A-CDM focuses on the airside and stakeholder collaboration it serves as an excellent feed-in to TAM. TAM can be seen as a wider interpretation of the collaborative aspect, where flexibility in approach and platform makes the real difference. In the case of TAM the scope is larger, starting at the access to the airport e.g. parking or railway, all the way up to the gate so it encompasses more processes, more milestones, and more stakeholders but uses a very similar approach to make sure all stakeholders have their nose turned in the same direction and agree on common KPIs.

Having implemented a collaborative decision-making framework is a prerequisite for scaling up to TAM, not only from a technology perspective (operational data sharing) but perhaps even more from a process angle, as it outlines the way information from and to third parties is defined and can be used to improve airport operations

As such, TAM is key not only for improving collaboration among the stakeholders involved in passenger, baggage and airside processes but – as important - also a driving force to enhance the passenger experience.

To deliver a true end-to-end experience it incorporates different technologies. Think of IoT to help track all vehicles or monitor passenger flows, or System Wide Information Management (SWIM) for system interfacing and many more.

One of the key aspects with regards to TAM is that it addresses the current and future challenges:

  • Intermodality: How to link all modes of transport to the airport, from road to railway including car parking: How can we integrate the impact of delays incurred in public transport, traffic jams or car parking issues on the passenger process at the airport
  • Airport Operations Center (APOC), is another aspect as it’s instrumental to TAM. The APOC is a virtual or physical location where people sit together to manage airport operations, with a key role reserved for the APOC coordinator as the ultimate decision-making entity. APOC staff use the TAM dashboard to manage their operations or feedback any info into the TAM platform.
  • Airport Operations Plan (AOP); We work in an APOC according to a rolling plan to make not only real-time, but also strategic decisions to anticipate operational issues that impact the operations locally at the airport, but also upstream in the air traffic network. In Europe, the AOP goes ‘in dialogue’ - through the APOC Coordinator – with the Network Manager’s Network Operations Plan (NOP) which in turn is linked to the AOPs of other TAM airports, so a seamless view of the journey of the aircraft throughout, transiting through different airports during the day, can be created. The concept allows airports to anticipate much earlier on expected delays, in order to redeploy resources and reduce the impact on the passenger experience to a minimum.

The role of EMMA Systems is to help airports on their journey to resilient operations by implementing Total Airport Management. Decisions can be made much easier if you get in all available data in real-time, map every part of the process with stakeholders and their responsibilities and agree upon common goals.

We start with creating a Gap Analysis of how the airport functions, how stakeholders interact and how operational performance is measured.

Based on the Gap Analysis, EMMA Systems will create a proposal of how TAM can be implemented at the airport with well-defined roles for all stakeholders, a seamless integration of all information and a unique dashboard that looks at every step or milestone and visualizes that every step and its performance to achieve the end-to-end target KPIs.

Total Airport Management may sound like a futuristic idea, but the concept is gradually being implemented at innovative airports around the world. Are you interested in how we can help you jump on board? Contact us at marketing@emma.aero